Manawatu's All Blacks

Manawatu's All Blacks

Manawatu has long punched above its weight when it comes to producing All Blacks. The Province's first All Black was Sam Cockroft in 1893. Jackson Hemopo become the 41st Manawatu All Black when he took the field against France in 2018.

  • Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith

    Number of Games : 74,
    Number of All Black Tests : 74,

    Debut : New Zealand v Ireland at Auckland, Jun 9, 2012,

    Test Points Scored : 67

    One of the greatest halfbacks of the modern game, Aaron Smith's speed of passing and transition is a vital part of the All Blacks success. The urgency and skill with which he plays, allows his backline precious time to make the right decision. With a consistent kicking game and a tendency for sniping runs rounds out a near perfect set of skills for Smith. Smith was a key leadership figure in the Highlanders Super Rugby-winning campaign in 2015. As of 2016, he is the leader of the haka as he takes a senior role in the national side.

  • Ngani Laumape

    Ngani Laumape

    Number of Games : 6,
    Number of All Black Tests : 6,

    Debut : New Zealand v British and Irish Lions at Wellington, Jul 1, 2017,

    Test Points Scored : 10

    The Palmerston North Boys High School bulldozer returned to rugby in 2016 following a stint with the Warriors in the NRL. An immensely strong Ball Carrier, Ngani played alongside Jason Emery at High School in what was one of the more formidable school boy pairings seen in recent times. He cracked the All Blacks in 2017.

  • Nehe Milner-Skudder

    Nehe Milner-Skudder

    Number of Games : 11,
    Number of All Black Tests : 11,

    Debut : Australia v New Zealand at Sydney, Aug 8, 2015,

    Test Points Scored : 55

    One of the in-form players of the 2014 ITM Cup campaign, Nehe Milner-Skudder is a special rugby player. His ability to create something out of nothing is second to none and his versatility makes him an integral asset to any team he plays for. From just one season in Super Rugby for the Hurricanes, Milner-Skudder was picked in the All Blacks squad that won the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. His electric pace and incredible step allows him to beat players and finish tries.

  • Jackson Hemopo

    Jackson Hemopo

    Number of Games : 1,
    Number of All Black Tests : 1,

    Debut : New Zealand v France at Dunedin, Jun 23, 2018

    Originally from Palmerston North Boys High School Hemopo opted to return to his roots in 2016 after a couple of seasons in Otago. The Highlanders lock had a break-out Super Rugby campaign in 2017 including a man-of-the-match performance against the British and Irish Lions. He was named the Turbos' player of the year in 2017.

  • Mark Shaw

    Number of Games : 69,
    Number of All Black Tests : 30,

    Debut : New Zealand v South Australia at Adelaide, 4 Jun, 1980,

    Test Points Scored : 20

    A tall hard-working and versitile loose forward, Shaw was affectionately known as Cowboy. The former Manawatu captain also forged a solid coaching career when he retired. Shaw played 87 games for Manawatu between 1978 and 1985.

  • Gary Knight

    Number of Games : 66,
    Number of All Black Tests : 36,

    Debut : New Zealand v French Selection at Brive, 26 October, 1977,

    Test Points Scored : 4

    The legendary front-rower was one of the toughest men to take the field for Manawatu. He played 145 games for the province and was a key part of the great Ranfurly Shield team of the late 1970s.

  • Christian Cullen

    Christian Cullen

    Number of Games : 60,
    Number of All Black Tests : 58,

    Debut : New Zealand v Samoa at Napier, Jun 7, 1996,

    Test Points Scored : 236

    Before he wowed the world as one of the greatest players to ever don the No 15, Christian Cullen was a standout for Manawatu. His Manawatu career lasted 15 games between 1995 and 1996 before he played for the Central Vikings in 1997. Cullen was the All Blacks' leading try scorer when he played his final test in 2002, a mark that stood until 2007 when he was overtaken by Doug Howlett.

  • Aaron Cruden

    Aaron Cruden

    Number of Games : 50,
    Number of All Black Tests : 50,

    Debut : New Zealand v Ireland at New Plymouth, Jun 12, 2010,

    Test Points Scored : 322

    Aaron Cruden is one of the best attacking players in international rugby with a strong boot and proven ability to spark his backline. The Manawatu first five-eighth has established himself as one of the world's leading playmakers since making his Super Rugby debut in 2010.

    Cruden was the main architech behind the Manawatu Turbos 2011 Championship Final run in the ITM Cup NPC. Following his outstanding form in 2011 Aaron Cruden solidified his place in the All Blacks with an impressive call up into the World Cup Squad which saw him guide the team past Argentina and then Australia in the Semi Finals with outstanding displays.

  • Sam Strahan

    Number of Games : 45,
    Number of All Black Tests : 28,

    Debut : New Zealand v Australia at Wellington, 19 August, 1967

    Sam Strahan is largely regarded as one of the best players to pull on a Manawatu jersey. A staunch Oroua man, he was also a mainstay in the Manawatu squad. His elevation to the All Blacks was a reward for his tough-nosed style of play.

  • Frank Oliver

    Number of Games : 43,
    Number of All Black Tests : 17,

    Debut : New Zealand v South Africa at Johannesburg,18 Sept, 1976,

    Test Points Scored : 4

    Frank Oliver was already regarded as a top All Black when he arrived in Manawatu in 1981. The no-nonsense lock added impressive physicality to the pack. His Manawatu career spanned 54 games between 1980 and 1983. He would later go on to coach Manawatu.

  • Kent Lambert

    Number of Games : 40,
    Number of All Black Tests : 11,

    Debut : New Zealand v New York Metropolitan at New York, 21 October 1972

    The big prop debuted for the All Blacks as a 20-year-old making him one of the youngest test props in New Zealand history. His Manawatu career spanned 50 matches.

  • Mark Donaldson

    Number of Games : 35,
    Number of All Black Tests : 13,

    Debut : New Zealand v French Selection at Brive, 26 October, 1977,

    Test Points Scored : 4

    Nicknamed Bullet due to the speed of his pass, Donaldson's service from the ruck was among the best in the country. He played 110 games for Manawatu.

  • Rod MacKenzie

    Number of Games : 35,
    Number of All Black Tests : 9,

    Debut : New Zealand v N.S.W. at Sydney, 4 August, 1934

    Rod MacKenzie captained the All Blacks in three games including one test. The lock/ loose forward was hard to stop with ball in hand. He played 41 games for Manawatu.

  • Ron Horsley

    Number of Games : 31,
    Number of All Black Tests : 3,

    Debut : New Zealand v Queensland at Sydney, 14 May, 1960

    When lock Horsley arrived in Manawatu in 1962, he was already an All Black. He added 13 further games for the All Blacks while at Manawatu. He played 37 games for the province.

  • Kevin Eveleigh

    Number of Games : 30,
    Number of All Black Tests : 4,

    Test Points Scored : 4

    The former Manawatu captain was a nightmare for opposing backlines thanks to his speed off the side of the scrum. That defensive presence saw him called into the All Blacks in 1974. He played 107 games for Manawatu.

  • Bob Burgess

    Number of Games : 30,
    Number of All Black Tests : 7,

    Debut : New Zealand v British & Irish Lions at Dunedin, 26 June, 1971 ,

    Test Points Scored : 6

    Burgess was a surprise selection to make his All Blacks debut at first five-eighth against the British and Irish Lions in 1971. It came just one year after he declined a spot on the All Blacks' tour to South Africa in 1970 as a protest of South Africa's apatheid system. Burgess was in his element playing attacking rugby. He played 24 games for Manawatu.

  • Doug Rollerson

    Number of Games : 24,
    Number of All Black Tests : 8,

    Debut : New Zealand v Uruguay at Montevideo, 12 October, 1976,

    Test Points Scored : 24

    Rollerson was one of the most exciting backs to pull on a Manawatu jersey. He will forever hold a place in Manawatu rugby folklore thanks to his shaky dropped goal that won Manawatu the Ranfurly Shield against Auckland in 1976. Rollerson played 91 games for Manawatu racking iup 515 points.

  • Keith Bagley

    Number of Games : 20,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Southern Counties, 31 October, 1953

    Bagley was an impressive line-out jumper, who was also an effective option at ruck time. He played 20 games for Manawatu, but never played a test. His Manawatu career lasted 18 games.

  • Mark 'Bull' Allen

    Mark 'Bull' Allen

    Number of Games : 19,
    Number of All Black Tests : 8,

    Debut : New Zealand v Samoa at Auckland, Jul 31, 1993,

    Test Points Scored : 5

    Mark 'Bull' Allen, never played a provincial game for Manawatu, but he did make the All Blacks while with Varsity in 1997 when he played for the Central Vikings, a combination of Manawatu and Hawke's Bay. That season he earned six of his eight tests.

  • John Callesen

    Number of Games : 18,
    Number of All Black Tests : 4,

    Debut : New Zealand v South Australia at Adelaide,1 May, 1974,

    Test Points Scored : 4

    John Callesen was one of the hardest working forwards during the golden years of Manawatu rugby in the 1970s. At 1.96m, he cut an imposing figure and was a star at winning lineout ball. He played 93 games for Manawatu.

  • Geoff Old

    Number of Games : 17,
    Number of All Black Tests : 3,

    Debut : New Zealand v Fiji at Auckland, 13 Sept, 1980

    Geoff Old played during the golden years of Manawatu rugby. The goal-kiciking loose forward had plenty of size and power and had a great on-field relationship with Mark Donaldson. His Manawatu career spanned 117 games between 1975 and 1985.

  • Lachie Cameron

    Number of Games : 17,
    Number of All Black Tests : 50,

    Debut : New Zealand v Argentina at Dunedin, 8 Sep, 1979

    The midfielder out of the Varsity club made a rapid rise up the ranks thanks to his impressive vision and passing. He made his All Blacks debut as a 20-year-old. Cameron played 63 games for Manawatu.

  • Stuart Freebairn

    Number of Games : 14,
    Number of All Black Tests : 14,

    Debut : New Zealand v Cambridge University at Cambridge, 4 November, 1953

    Freebairn was a top-class finisher on the wing. His pace quickly saw him rise up the rugby ranks. In 84 games for Manawatu, he scored 159 points including 53 tries. He was rewarded with an All Blacks call up in 1953. He was the first All Black out of Feilding High School.

  • Kevin Schuler

    Kevin Schuler

    Number of Games : 13,
    Number of All Black Tests : 4,

    Debut : New Zealand v Australia at Auckland, Aug 4, 1990

    Kevin Schuler was a loose forward for Varsity in the late 80s. He played 49 games for the province in his four seasons. He would later move to North Harbour.

  • Sam Cockroft

    Number of Games : 12,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Combined XV at Wellington, 21 June, 1893

    Crockroft was a hooker who played five for Manawatu in 1893. That same season he played 11 matches for the All Blacks before moving to Hawke's Bay.

  • Archie McMinn

    Number of Games : 10,
    Number of All Black Tests : 2,

    Debut : New Zealand v Wellington Province at Wellington, 11 July, 1903

    Known as 'Tiny', McMinn played for the All Blacks in 1903 and 1905 as a loose forward. He played 23 games for Manawatu. His brother Alex was also an All Black.

  • Phonse Carroll

    Number of Games : 8,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Auckland at Auckland, 10 July 1920

    A horse trainer first and foremost, Carroll did not start playing rugby until he was 22. But he was a naturally gifted hooker and three years after picking up a rugby ball, he was in the All Blacks. He played 33 games for Manawatu.

  • John Loveday

    Number of Games : 7,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Cambridge University at Cambridge, 18 October, 1978

    Few were better at handling the tight exhanges than Loveday. The lock built his rugby career on hitting rucks and mauls with power and was a solid ball winner at lineout time. He played 65 games for Manawatu between 1969 and 1979.

  • Ken Granger

    Number of Games : 6,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Uruguay at Montevideo, 12 October, 1976

    Freyberg's Granger played 6 games for the All Blacks in 1976, but never played a test. Granger was no stranger to the tryline and when he retired from Manawatu, he was the province's leading tryscorer. He played 128 games for Manawatu, scoring 316 points. His 66 tries for Manawatu remains the province's record.

  • Graham Shannon

    Number of Games : 6,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Combined XV at Wellington, 21 June, 1893

    Shannon played both at halfback and in the forward pack for Manawatu and the All Blacks. His call up to the All Blacks came in 1893.

  • Perry Harris

    Number of Games : 4,
    Number of All Black Tests : 1,

    Debut : New Zealand v Leopards at Mdantsana, East London, 31 August, 1976

    Te Kawau's Perry Harris was called into the All Blacks on the back of Manawatu's outstanding 1976 season. The prop was 30-years-old when he made his All Blacks debut.

  • Arthur Law

    Number of Games : 4,
    Number of All Black Tests : 4,

    Debut : New Zealand v N.S.W. 2nd XV at Sydney, 7 June, 1925

    Law was a wing as strong on defence as he was on attack. He only played 6 games for Manawatu due to much of his rugby being played for Manawhenua - a combination team of Manawatu and Horowhenua.

  • John Mowlem

    Number of Games : 4,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Cumberland County at Sydney, 28 June, 1893

    Mowlem spent four years with Manawatu as a wing forward playing 13 games. In 1893 he was rewarded with an All Blacks call up.

  • Bruce Hemara

    Bruce Hemara

    Number of Games : 3,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Club Athletico San Isidro at Buenos Aires, 12 Oct, 1985

    A tough and accurate hooker, Burce Hemara played three games for the All Blacks in 1985. The Freyberg man always appeared destined for a test, but it never eventuated. He played 108 provincial games for Manawatyu and would later serve as the Manawatu assistant coach and then the MRU president.

  • Michael O'Callaghan

    Number of Games : 3,
    Number of All Black Tests : 3,

    Debut : New Zealand v France at Christchurch, 13 July, 1968

    O'Callaghan was a strong running wing, who was a master of finishing off plays. He played 65 games for Manawatu, scoring 130 points.He played three tests against France in 1968.

  • Chresten Davis

    Chresten Davis

    Number of Games : 2,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Boland Invitation XV at Worcester, 6 Aug, 1996

    The tall, hard-working lock/ blindside flanker cracked the All Blacks in 1996 for their tour toSouth Africa. He played two games on the tour, but did not play a test. Davis' Manawatu career ran from 1994-1998 and included 28 games.

  • Mark Finlay

    Number of Games : 2,
    Number of All Black Tests : 2,

    Debut : New Zealand v President's XV at Suva, 17 Oct, 1984

    The goal-kicking High School Old Boys fullback carved out an impressive career with Manawatu. He played 71 matches between 1981 and 1986 scoring 511 points. He made his All Blacks debut in the same match as Grant Fox in 1984, but he would never play a test.

  • Craig Wicks

    Number of Games : 1,
    Number of All Black Tests : 0,

    Debut : New Zealand v Fiji at Auckland,13 Sep, 1980

    Craig Wicks played his sole game for the All Blacks as an 18-year-old in 1980 while still at Palmerston North Boys' High School. The pacey wing's career was plagued with injuries. He played 22 games for Manawatu between 1981 and 1986 before eventually deciding to retire.

  • Brian Finaly

    Number of Games : 1,
    Number of All Black Tests : 1,

    Debut : New Zealand v British & Irish Lions at Dunedin, 18 July, 1959

    The flanker played one test for the All Blacks as a 31-year-old against the British and Irish Lions, a test best known for Don Clarke's six penaltes. Fast and with a good read of the game, he strarted his career as a midfield back before shifting to the forward pack.

  • Jack Finlay

    Number of Games : 1,
    Number of All Black Tests : 1,

    Debut : New Zealand v Australia at Dunedin,14 September, 1946

    Finlay was the ultimate utility. He played much of his Manawatu rugby in the midfield, his club rugby and sole test as a loose forward and twice trialled for the All Blacks as a prop and hooker. He played 61 games for Manawatu scoring 246 points.